Rodriguez stands 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds and holds only a game of experience in Cuba's Serie Nacional 18U league, from when he was 17 years old.
"From seeing Elian Rodriguez in multiple game situations, what stands out the most is his combination of athleticism, power stuff, and overall pitchability and command," Astros Director of Internal Oz Ocampo said in the release. "Elian is physical, athletic, and projectable with an impressive repertoire, including a 92-97 mph fastball and two power breaking balls.
"Elian also demonstrates a strong work ethic, aptitude and intelligence to improve in all areas of his game. Elian has all the attributes to develop into a power starter at the Major League level, and we are excited to bring him into the Astros system."
Rodriguez is the 38th player Houston has signed during this period, with 16 players from Venezuela, 13 from the Dominican Republic, four from Cuba and three from Mexico. He is also the 25th pitcher.
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.